The number of First Nations lives lost to the opioid epidemic continued to rise last year even as the overall mortality rates in British Columbia show signs of dropping, making the emergency a severe and persistent threat to our families and communities.
In 2018, 193 First Nations men and women died of an overdose in the province, a 21 percent increase from a year earlier. Overall, First Nations accounted for 13 percent of overdose deaths, up from 11 percent in 2017.
FNHA is incorporating the wisdom of First Nations People with lived experience (peers) in its response to the overdose crisis.
- FNHA created 2 First Nations Peer Coordinator positions in December 2018 to work at the Crosstown Clinic in the DTES. These coordinators meet and support First Nations people who are using substances at the clinic and then connect them with First Nations culture through the ‘Culture Saves Lives’ organization.
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